Rural Lifestyle

Creating attractive rural lifestyle destinations

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.1. Natural and cultural resources developed into sustainable tourist attractions

Central Baltic

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2022

€1 132 638

€917 249

Project Summary:

There is a clear market demand for attractive tourism destinations that can respond to the latest travel trends: authentic lifestyle and sustainability. This provides the Central Baltic region with the opportunity to develop its rural tourism potential. The region can count on several traditional activities related to authentic rural lifestyle. These activities have the potential to attract tourists by offering them the opportunity to immerse themselves into the local everyday life. These activities entail voluntary work camps, hands-on handicraft and cooking workshops, farming, berry and mushroom picking, fishing, home visits, pop-up cafes and other cultural events.
To better market this regional potential, a cluster of Rural Lifestyle (RL) destinations (Söderhamn, Sweden; Aland & Lohja, Finland; Estonia; Latvia) will be established. The cluster will attract travel agencies and tourists from Asia and Europe to enable local tour operators to approach their overseas counterparts with variety of activities and tour packages.
The network of “RL Destinations" established by the project will be enabled and further expanded during and after the project lifecycle.

Lead Partner

Eesti Maaülikool

Country: EE

Partner budget: 261.770 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 222.505 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Helsingin yliopisto Ruralia-instituutti

Country: FI

Partner budget: 129.455 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 97.091 EUR ERDF

Lohjan kaupunki

Country: FI

Partner budget: 114.339 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 85.754 EUR ERDF

Företagsam Skärgård r.f.

Country: FI

Partner budget: 103.163 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 77.372 EUR ERDF

Söderhamns kommun

Country: SE

Partner budget: 107.977 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 80.982 EUR ERDF

Eesti Maaturism

Country: EE

Partner budget: 130.260 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 110.721 EUR ERDF

Gaujas Nacionālā parka tūrisma biedrība

Country: LV

Partner budget: 80.507 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 68.431 EUR ERDF

Latvijas lauku tūrisma asociācija “Lauku ceļotājs”

Country: LV

Partner budget: 205.167 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 174.392 EUR ERDF

Expected results

The project’s main results will be added interest, attractiveness and accessibility of the Central Baltic region as a sustainable tourism destination and increased numbers of visits in the area through:
1/ introducing/enhancing a coherent SMART network of Rural Lifestyle destinations based on sustainability and the authentic “rural lifestyle” of the region. The region has sufficient similarities in culture, nature, and history to be able to form a coherent destination, while at the same time offering a wide range and diversity to form interesting and exciting cross-border products.

2/ destinations introducing product provision that will be:
a. based on authentic rural local lifestyles and which preserves the local natural and cultural heritage and values
b. is able to offer attractive products for FIT tourists
c. marketed jointly as an authentic and sustainable destination in Japanese and European markets
d. packaged according to jointly agreed and unified baseline/criteria, which facilitates the creation of cross-border packages readily and flexibly e.g. to far east customers

3/ creation of joint images for each area as a sustainable destination based on their rural lifestyle. The project will support each participating rural area to find their own local strengths from which to build a Rural Lifestyle destination and in co-operation with national tourism boards build sustainable destination joint imagery suited to each tourism market

4/ The network, based on the rural areas selected to the project as “Rural Lifestyle regions” will be open and further expanded during the project as well as after the project’s lifespan. In order to maintain the sustainability of the Rural Lifestyle destination, the connection to the tourism markets as well as supply channels and the visibility in the markets will be established during the project.

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